Today we interview Joan Carles Montero, Technical Director of the NGO Alimentacción.
How was Alimentacción born?
Alimentacción was born from the particular interest of 4 dieticians-nutritionists after having all had volunteer experiences and international cooperation, curiously all in Africa.
Having lived in our own meats that the figure of the dietitian-nutritionist, is also essential in situations of sanitary vulnerability, made us begin to consider this project in an imperious way. Subsequently, the Spanish Foundation of Dietitians-Nutritionists (FEDN) and the General Council of Dietitians-Nutritionists (CGDN), who were interested in a similar project, became interested in our work and gave us the opportunity to materialize the project.
What people are currently part of Alimentacción?
Currently, we train 5 dietitians-nutritionists: Juan Carlos Montero as Technical Director (@joancamt), Sabina Escortell Responsible for Social Action (@saesmut), Gloria Domench Responsible for International Cooperation, Alma Palau Responsible for institutional relations and Treasury (@alma_palau) , and finally Conchita Pou (@cpousoler) who is responsible for all our projects in Africa.
We also have colleagues from the FEDN who are always willing to collaborate with us, as well as many other people who anonymously always give us a hand.
What projects do you have underway?
We have 3 projects underway in the Gambia, some very advanced such as the women’s gardens in Berefet, another recently launched such as orchards and beekeeping in Marrakissa and finally the school garden, also in Berefet and which is in the process of being realized .
In Spain we have a project that we intend to develop shortly and we are working to make it a reality soon. We are going to work with food donor entities to train their staff so that they learn to carry out more profitable food collection campaigns. At the same time we want to offer training to the families receiving food so that with their resources and possibilities they know how to eat in a healthy way.
How do you get the resources to carry out the projects?
I imagine that like all NGOs. We seek private and public capital. Private capital is the one we prefer because it gives us total independence to work and make decisions about how, when and where we are going to invest our resources. We achieve this through private donations from individuals or companies, from sponsoring companies (although to this day we do not have), crowdfunding campaigns such as those carried out by colleagues from ” Evidence in nutrition ” selling T-shirts, teaming campaigns , or other merchandising that we will develop. We also try to get grants from private companies that use part of their profits for social purposes.
I cannot forget the generosity of the schools and associations that have been interested in donating 0.7% of their annual budget, or of the colleagues who have invited us, or we have presented ourselves, to their conferences and have given us visibility.
Public subsidies are also interesting to us, but sometimes it is difficult to find them or with all the requirements that they demand of us
If I am DN, how can I participate in Alimentacción?
If you are DN and you really want to contribute with your work, you can contact us using the form we have on our website. There are different possibilities depending on interest, experience, knowledge and time available. We encourage any DN with social concerns to contact us.
There are people who read us and who are not DNs or who do not have time to participate actively in Alimentacción. How else can you contribute a grain of sand to that project?
Well, they have three very important ways of doing it: The first is by making a donation., whatever the amount, since all help is welcome. This is how you become a “feeding” person; also buying the merchandising that we are generating. Secondly, you can tell us where there is a possible way of financing, for example a grant from a city council or a company that allocates part of its resources to social purposes, it is almost impossible to keep up to date with all these opportunities … Finally they help us a lot giving us visibility, talking about us, sharing our posts and the messages that we launch on social networks, offering their websites to place a banner … There is much much needed help outside strictly economic channels. I insist, everything adds up and more at this time that we are a young organization.